RMU Attack Tables

I have spent my down time over Christmas working on a spreadsheet to create attack tables in the most usable format we have seen so far.

The biggest issue with RMU for me has been the size rules. There were two issues really, firstly, in incessant math required to even work out how much damage an attack does. It may be relatively simple math but it is a mechanical step that slows down almost every attack. In fact it is more than one step as a quick calculation is needed to work out the size of the attack before the attack roll and then a calculation after the attack roll to calculate the damage. Size also still effects the OB and DB of the targets, according to Beta 2 but that may have changed and it then adjusts the critical.

My second issue with the size rules is that it looks like a solution looking for a problem. The same progression that is being applied via the size rules is being applied every which where regardless of whether it works or not.

On one hand the proponents that like the size rules are seeing this as an elegant solution unifying many disparate game mechanics. Those, like me that do not like the rules just see a bad rule wrongly applied.

It is possible that I am wrong, according to Mrs R that has happened before.

To that end, the game I am going to run this year is going to use the size rules but there are some attack chart layouts that have been suggested on the forums that precalculate the size shifts.

So stating in the bottom left with Diminutive, then tiny, small, the bold result is the medium, then the top row, right to left is big, large and huge.

That image is from the spreadsheet I am working on. Merkir from the forums has shared a Google Sheet that will generate attack tables on the fly for any of the standard weapons. If I paste that into my spreadsheet it then explodes every individual result into the seven displayed sizes. That takes away one of the game slowing steps.

Another option is that once you paste the Merkir table into the spreadsheet you can apply adjustments to it. So Rather than a short sword being a Dagger +1 size I can apply a +10OB shift to the Dagger table and then generate a dedicated Short Sword table. I can do the same for two handed swords so they are no longer Broadswords +1 size. This takes away one more size calculation.

I accept that magic and things like charging will always involve a size shift. I do not have a problem with that. I personally feel that +1 size for charging is a retrograde step that harks all the way back to D&D basic rules where a charge just gave you double damage. +1 size does basically the same thing and ignores 40 years of increasing sophistication and any attempt to model what happens in the real world. I am happy to accept the size solution as it fits nicely with my desire for fast and simple rules.

The sizes of the damage shifts in my tables do not follow the RAW in beta 2. As Hurin has pointed out the RAW favours smaller attackers by giving them disproportionate amounts of damage. The result being that rabbits being overly dangerous.

My tables will diverge slightly from the standard tables and it is all down to rounding. Normally if you were doing 0.4 of a hit in damage you would expect that to be rounded down to nothing. The problem with this is that all touch magic requires a successful unarmed attack that delivers 1 hit. If you have a small or diminutive spell caster it is impossible for them to cast any magic against a foe in AT 9 or 10. For that reason I have chosen to always round up to the next whole hit in damage. So if the Medium attack did at least 1 hit then at all sizes at least 1 hit will be delivered.

This puts my charts mostly towards Hurin’s toned down charts, without the killer rabbits, but fractionally above them so a bit from a rabbit will still do 1 hit if it hits where the Hurin formula would have rounded down to zero.

What I have left to do is mostly donkey work of copy and pasting my spreadsheet formula into hundreds if not thousands of cells. I cannot just fill the spreadsheet as the formula has too many nested functions that Excel cannot cope with updating all the references to the look up tables. As soon as I have something to show I will share some finished tables with you. How much I can share is a different question as I think I am really on the edge of the Beta NDA if I start sharing complete sets of attack tables!



8 Replies to “RMU Attack Tables”

  1. I am very much looking forward to seeing and using these.

    I think Merkir was the one that suggested a slightly different order for the chart, with each of the rows (top and bottom) following the order from largest to smallest from left to right, rather than the top row going left to right and the bottom right to left.

    One other way of handling the 1-hit point minimum hit issue you mention above would be to round up to 1 hit point, as you have, but only on the higher armor types. There isn’t any real need to round up on AT 1. Also, if the main reason for rounding up is to allow touch attacks, shouldn’t you really only be rounding up on the Unarmed Strike attack chart? I don’t think you need to round up on any chart other than that one, if the touch attacks are your sole reason for rounding up.

    Thanks for all your work on these!

    1. The diminutive rounding effects more than just the unarmed table. RMU Spell Law says any unarmed attack skill can be used. Then, in addition, there are monsters that can deliver additional damage, criticals or effects on any successful attack. That suddenly makes 1 hit vs 0 hits much more important.

      Now imagine a Paladin or Noble Warrior style spell that enchants their own weapon so that it delivers an ‘A’ electricity (or whatever) critical on any successful hit. Now the 1 vs 0 is important for any and all possible weapons.

      You can even have shield or wall type spells that do damage when they are touched or the person or item being protected is successfully hit. The attacker could be using any weapon when they hit the magician behind the protective spell.

      For all of the above reasons I think the rounding up to a minimum of 1 hit is the best option. Finally, compared to RM2/RMC RMU characters have far more hits now, so losing an additional 1 here or there is not the end of the world.

  2. I don’t see many spells that give extra criticals on a ‘hit’. What the Paladin for example has is spells that give an extra critical on hits that already deliver a base critical. So the Paladin has to not just do hits, but also deliver a critical before he gets the extra critical. The cases where you get a critical on merely a successful hit seem to me to be the cases of touch attacks, where the extra critical is essentially the main component of the attack.

    One other thing I wanted to mention about the attack charts: in previous editions of RM, the unarmed and natural attack charts were quite different from the normal attack charts. The Unarmed Strike, for example, and Claw charts got results very early, especially against lightly armored foes. The RMU beta2 seemed to change that a bit and make unarmed much more like any other weapon chart. That is something that might usefully be changed back to the way it worked in RM2 (and I am assuming RMSS). I personally liked the way it was easy to get some hit points of damage by swinging at someone with a fist, since this was the human’s natural weaponry; but it was hard to get a very damaging blow, because human fists are relatively weak compared to say iron swords. So the good thing about the unarmed strike charts in previous editions was that they actually did get small-hit point/no crit results quite early on the chart. If you reverted to the old style unarmed charts, you might find that there are more 1-hit point results at lower attack values on the chart.

    In any case, on the general topic of rounding on the attack charts, what you do is of course ultimately up to you, but I found it better to round off because of the way damage scaling works. That 1 hit point that the rabbit does to the elephant can become significant through many different ways. You can cast a spell to increase the size of the rabbit’s attack, then strap a rabbit-sized lance to his back, then have him charge quickly, and suddenly his attack is at medium size, and instead of doing only 1 hit point he is now doing 10 or 20. There are so many ways to increase size in RMU that even a single point can be dangerous, especially if the small creatures are attacking in numbers.

    1. regarding the rabbit jousting, that is not my understating of how it works. I would not scale down the the rabbit’s diminutive size and then scale back up again. If the total resulting size of the attack was medium then I would read the medium result straight off the table.

      At no point would I round 0.1 up to
      a whole 1 and then multiply the rounded figure up.

      I think that is the point of the tables showing precalculated resulrs for the 7 most common sizes.

      1. Ah yes, I understand what you mean. If you are listing all the results on a single table rather than upscaling or downscaling them from a base chart, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

    2. Regarding the non-touch attacks and spells, I am imagining potential spells and effects in all the future companions.

      I am an advocate for spell research so I may well have seen more and more varied magic than those that take spell law as a completed whole.

  3. I am curious if you ever finished this? My and the boys play RMU on Fantasy Grounds. The problem is FG only has RM. So we have slowly been adding in the code to make it RMU. Something like this sounds like it would be a help.

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